GABF Winners: Rants n Raves

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beertunes, Oct 13, 2012.

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  1. llckeller03

    llckeller03 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2012 Illinois

    I'm very proud of my hometown boys at Brickstone. They do have an outstanding APA that rivals all others. I'm close enough to the brewery to be able to have a gold medal APA in my hand in 5 mins.
  2. llckeller03

    llckeller03 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2012 Illinois

    Yes, There APA, Porter And Oatmeal Stout is the only thing worth trying. Everything else is hit or miss.

    As far as the food goes, its all outstanding, priced right and the servers are smoking hot! It is well worth a trip to Bourbonnais, $6 growler fills on Sunday too.
    fickenmeimirish and chanokokoro like this.
  3. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (214) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    If you need more re-inforcement on the CDA style, I'd recommend you try and get your hands on Hill Farmstead's James.
  4. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2011 Colorado

    Of all the rants I can't believe you were the first to address this. As far as an APA goes ZD is wrong. Sure, it tastes great but it is no where near to style.
  5. NJBeerNerd

    NJBeerNerd Initiate (131) Jun 2, 2010 New Jersey

    I thought the FO/BB was French Oak Bret Brown...that's what it had said in the description of Barrel Select Batch 1.
  6. raymo55

    raymo55 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    And it's because of this that makes these awards a fucking joke!
    llckeller03 likes this.
  7. pmoney

    pmoney Crusader (736) Apr 15, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I haven't read through the 6 pages of posts, so I am probably repeating this. I'm happy to see New Glarus took a gold metal with Hometown Blonde, which is an awesome Pilsner. And they were also deserving of the silver which they took for Staghorn.
  8. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    No poitics involved. All tasting is blind. GABF awards are far more objective than hype-driven BA scores that where vast majority of reviewers don't even know how to properly judge a beer.
  9. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    I would speculate pro-brewers give the GABF awards more weight than they do of the reviews of goobers on Ba. The BA does a helluva job setting up the event and making it run smoothly. If you want to look at who the judges were, it was in the GABF book they give out, as well as who was on the floor and what breweries entered/not on the floor.

    Each judging panel is set up of 3 to 4 judges, and they pass on the best 3 beers. If there are 4 or 5 top notch beers, only 3 advance. That's just the way it goes, it's random. And yes, some little brewpub in BFE can make better beer than your homer brewery. Cat 33 is still beer, and as long as it is, the BA will keep it in the competition.

    The judges also look for flaws that most consumers won't notice. With all the new breweries the field of competition is going to get tougher and tougher. So to see 1 brewery making a sweep of many medals will be rarer. And that's IF the brewery enters their beer since they're capped now at 10 entries. Plus, a bigger brewery may not be timing their brew schedule to match the deadlines.

    So look for trends, if a brewery has been making great beer and winning awards year after year but misses a year, doesn't mean they suddenly suck. Too many factors involved.
  10. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    Did Hill Farmstead participate?? I can't imagine they did, cause they would of needed a wheelbarrow for medals.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,447) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    But Shiner Oktoberfest won the Gold!?!:confused:

  12. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,043) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Jack: Shiner is brewed to the higher end of the style guidelines...and as we both know, for U.S. craft beer and its judges, MORE is better :wink:
  13. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Completely disagree. Not bitter enough to do well in American IPA and high hop aroma is now the norm for winning APAs. The ABV argument is moot because it drinks like it could be inder the technical limit, and judges aren't given a spec sheet so they have no idea. Really, this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. 3F is also very clear about not calling it an IPA, and the grey area in-between these styles is pretty broad.
    Spider889 likes this.
  14. airmike

    airmike Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2011 Colorado

    Pappy Van Muckle was every bit deserving of a medal! Best beer I had all week
  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,447) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member


    I am guessing that you are joking.

    But on a ‘serious’ note:

    · Shiner Oktoberfest: 5.7% ABV, 18 IBUs
    · Olde Mecklenburg Mecktoberfest: 5.4% ABV, ? IBUs

    Below is from the Shiner website:

    This festive Marzen-style seasonal has a deep amber color and slightly toasted flavor. The initial rich malty aroma and sweetness fades to a moderately dry, hoppy finish.

    Made with the highest-quality Two-Row Barley, Munich and Caramel malts, along with German-grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops.”

    Now, in all fairness I have not had the 2012 Shiner Oktoberfest but I have had it in the past (along with a lot of the other Shiner beers: Shiner Bock, Black Bavarian, Cosmos, etc.). I am not in any way anti-Shiner; I think they made good, modest priced beers. Of their beers, the Black Bavarian is my favorite. For my palate, the Shiner Bock tastes amazingly similar to Yuengling Lager (I don’t intend to knock Shiner Bock since Yuengling Lager is an OK beer).

    But, for Shiner Oktoberfest to be ‘better’ than Olde Mecklenburg Mecktoberfest (or any other Marzen for that matter) has me scratching my head.

    In November I will be in Texas vising family (and attending the Wurstfest in New Braunfels, TX) so I guess I will have to drink some Gold Medal Shiner Oktoberfest and get my palate ‘calibrated’.


  16. kevinscott

    kevinscott Aspirant (227) Oct 21, 2008 Texas

    Definitely agree. It's a great beer.
  17. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,254) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    German Pilsener style is supposed to be hoppier.

    Classic German Pilsners are very light straw to golden in color. Head should be dense and rich. They are also well-hopped, brewed using Noble hops such has Saaz, Hallertauer, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Tettnanger, Styrian Goldings, Spalt, Perle, and Hersbrucker. These varieties exhibit a spicy herbal or floral aroma and flavor, often times a bit coarse on the palate, and distribute a flash of citrus-like zest--hop bitterness can be high.

    So I'll disagree that Sunshine fits the style more. I'll argue that both Prima and Sly Fox Pikeland squarely fit into the German style and both are significantly better than Sunshine......and I'm a Sunshine fan.
  18. eyeenjoybeer

    eyeenjoybeer Initiate (0) Feb 18, 2011 Seychelles

    It is such a shame that their regular line up is so forgettable.
  19. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Medal stats: CA-49, CO-35, OR-24, PA-17, VA-12, IL/WI-10ea.
    2011 stats: CA-51, CO-44, OR-15, PA-7, VA-8.

    Some shifting going on, but these were the states that won big last year, some shifting around of medals and a lot must have changed among the other states, but I'm not spending the time to look that info up.
  20. KellyIPA

    KellyIPA Initiate (17) Mar 6, 2010 Ohio

    The GABF is judged by some of the best brewers and PROFESSIONALS in the world who have been in the business for years. These aren't Joe Homebrewer BCJP judges or Beer Geeks who love under attenuated imperial stouts! They follow strict guidelines and judge accordingly. Sometimes styles "overlap" and beers are on the cusp usually with pales, ipas, dipas, etc....
    arniepnminne and patkorn like this.
  21. Chaseguuy

    Chaseguuy Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2012 California

    especially to Tap It wtf sumone was payin sumone under the table
  22. Chaseguuy

    Chaseguuy Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2012 California

    i live in san luis, this is the biggest outrage ever. sumone got paid
  23. MLucky

    MLucky Aspirant (286) Jul 31, 2010 California

    vurt likes this.
  24. NotACommunist

    NotACommunist Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2011 South Carolina

    Good to see Holy City Brewing from Charleston take home a gold for their Pluff Mud Porter. I was at the brewery when they were on and got confirmation that their packages made it to Colorado (their office computer is behind the bar). Congrats again!
  25. seanmoto

    seanmoto Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2012 California

    Breweries that went medal less at the GABF Stone, Great Divide, Oskar Blues, Bells, Founders, and Dogfish! They are going to have one hell of a pity party!
  26. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (497) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    kona longboard lager haha.

    I was in HI all last week and that was as close to craft as they had outside of one sweet place called Pints and Jiggers. Kona makes some awful and boring beers.
  27. sunkistxsudafed

    sunkistxsudafed Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2010 New Mexico

    why is there no gold for category 75?
  28. sunkistxsudafed

    sunkistxsudafed Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2010 New Mexico

    the fact that Sierra Blanca's Nut Brown won gold surprises me... it isn't very good.
    RattleheadKV2 likes this.
  29. arcook11

    arcook11 Aspirant (215) Nov 27, 2010 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    St. Louis area picked up 3 medals after bringing home 0 last year (not counting Busch Light). Good things are happening here. How Charleville's Box of Chocolate didn't medal is crazy to me... those chocolate beers that did win must be darn delicious.
  30. badbeer

    badbeer Initiate (0) Jun 19, 2005 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Really? I get it if this is just some sort of way of giving a compliment to HF, but I can't take it as a serious question. They make good beer, but that doesn't mean GABF gold... or silver... or bronze. I think New Glarus should take gold for Belgian Red every year and silver for Raspberry Tart. Those beers are so perfectly consistent (and awesome) it's almost unfathomable, yet some years neither place and things like Leinie's Berry Weiss wins gold. Some years awesome beers win, some years OK beers win.

    GABF judging palates are more stylistic while consumer palates are hedonistic. That said, a true-to-style, world class beer does not make a GABF medal winner make and does not a GABF medal winner make not.
    CurtisMcArthur likes this.
  31. Schmittymack

    Schmittymack Zealot (538) Sep 3, 2008 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    If the judges can't decide on a clear favorite, they forgo medals.
  32. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    To be more precise, from their web site

    Schmittymack likes this.
  33. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

  34. BlindSalimander

    BlindSalimander Initiate (93) Aug 16, 2010 Texas

    Everyone should be so lucky to get to Jackson Wy.
  35. BlindSalimander

    BlindSalimander Initiate (93) Aug 16, 2010 Texas

    Last year some local Dallas beer writers had an Oktoberfest-off, pitting 20 beers, both foreign and domestic against each other. They booted Shiner in the early rounds but one of the writes wrote a mea culpa of sorts a few weeks ago after learning about a Shiner Oktoberfest 2011 victory in Europe.
  36. dauss

    dauss Zealot (558) Aug 9, 2003 Colorado
    Industry Beer Trader

    They changed the entry limit to 10 beers. I'm only speculating, but Sun King won a bunch of medals in 2011 but didn't win small brewery and brewmaster of the year or it could be that there are so many new breweries open that they didn't want to be overwhelmed with entries. Local breweries in CO have an advantage to send a lot of entries, due to the close proximity.
  37. erway

    erway Initiate (154) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    So many of you are missing a lot of what the judges are having to do here.

    Let's take that APA category... First off, you don't know what batch was sent. MANY brewers out there will brew a specific batch to be sent to the table. That batch might have been brewed from start to finish by the Master Brewer and not a shift brewer(s). (That's what I do most of the time) That batch might have been brewed with more or less of one ingredient or another.... you get my point. May not be the same beer at all. Then, beers with flaws are knocked off the table pretty quickly. I myself, am really sensitive to phenols, diacetyl, fusels, and oxidation. Someone else might be sensitive to sulfur compounds, but rest assured, between 3 or 4 judges, the flaws WILL get knocked off the table, if not in the first round, certainly by the second. Again, you don't know what was sent. I personally am bewildered whenever Firestone doesn't get silver and gold in this category because, in my mind, those are the epitome of the style. But alas, I wasn't at that table and I don't know what they were trying...

    Then, the judges have to find what they believe is not only closest to style but also a compelling beer; something that hits all of the bullet points and then some. Sometimes this means, without any data in front of them, that a beer like a 9.5% ABV DIPA can win in the IPA category. Sometimes it means that a beer like Zombie Dust wins in the APA category.

    I can't emphasize this enough. NONE of you know what was on those tables. You didn't try it. Maybe the Shiner O-fest was the single greatest beer to ever come out of the Spoetzl brewery and they put 1/2 gram of cocaine in each bottle.:grinning: (Note, I don't believe any brewery would ever do such a thing) You just don't know what the judges were trying at the table, but whether that judge was Tomme Arthur or Charlie Papazian himself, it is exceedingly unfair for all of you to critique them or the competition director for results that you don't agree with. I don't "agree" with all of the results EVER. I'll go around and try some of the beers that beat mine out and scratch my head. That being said, I know that the judges did their best. And I know that the competition director has done the best job of putting together a beer competition that anyone has ever done.

    Whether you pay attention to the awards or not, getting medals can and does often mean increased attention from the press and distributors and subsequently growth. I would not say that it is because of our medals that we grew 300% last year, but it certainly didn't hurt. I hope that those of you that truly love beer continue to support the GABF by coming at least every few years. As was pointed out on RB in a related thread, this is a money loser for all the breweries that attend. We're not doing it for ourselves, we're doing it for all of you and to support the BA and it's attempts to continue to champion craft beer in this country.
    foobula, bulletrain76, Vav and 8 others like this.
  38. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    It all seems like a bunch of BS to me. Enjoy your Shiners!!
  39. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Did they enter any beers? It is very possible they entered very few or even no beers into competition.
  40. miketd

    miketd Zealot (534) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I agree with some medal winners and don't with others... some I haven't had. At the end of the day, who cares?

    People's reaction can be summed up this way: If my brewery won, GABF is awesome... congrats!; If my brewery didn't win, GABF is shit.
    caseyff and MacNCheese like this.
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